Ebru Unal, PhD, Research Fellow

Dr. Ebru Unal joined the Mystic Aquarium research team in 2014. She works on immunological assays and molecular techniques to assess health and immune status in marine mammals. Dr. Unal majored in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Bogazici University in Turkey and received her MSc degree in Marine Sciences at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. During her master’s studies, she focused on zooplankton seasonality and genetics. Her work earned her a fellowship from the University of Washington to serve as a visiting research scientist at the School of Oceanography. There she carried out a population genetic study on copepod species. In 2011, Dr. Unal earned her PhD in Oceanography from the University of Connecticut (UConn); focusing her PhD studies on molecular responses of marine zooplankton to environmental conditions and stressors in the North Atlantic Ocean. Dr. Unal was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Marine Sciences at UConn until 2013, and was later named an Assistant Research Scientist in the UConn Marine Sciences and Technology Center. During her research career, Dr. Unal has utilized population genetics, environmental transcriptomic and functional genomic approaches. At the Aquarium, she is currently investigating the molecular and immune response of cetaceans to various environmental and anthropogenic stressors.